August 5, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
The Android Market has more than 250,000 apps to put on your Nexus S or Motorola Xoom. Of course, you can’t fit – and probably don’t want to – all of those apps onto your phone, so Androinica.com tries to help each week by providing a quick round-up of what’s new and interesting in the Android Market.
This week’s theme is the “Would You Look at That” edition because that’s what people will be doing in most of these apps. Looking at their television, looking at what their photos, looking at what they eat, and looking at their screens as they play what’s likely to become one of Android’s most-popular games. Keep in mind that not everything is compatible if you aren’t running a recent version of Android.
Quick Hits on New Apps
- TouchRetouch Free - Remember that awesome app that we reviewed that can remove items from a photo like magic? Well, a free version is now available that is equally awesome. Download now and touch-up some of your favorite photos.
- Scottrade Mobile - Monitor your portfolio with the Scottrade app. It links with the user’s account make trades, but anyone can use the other features of the app. Scottrade has “real-time” stock prices, news artless, and can be set to provide alerts when a stock reaches a certain price.
- FoxSports Mobile - Not content to let ESPN have all the fun, FoxSports has released its own Android application for sports fans to track. The app shows schedules, news, scores, standing, stats, and select video from the FSN channels.
- Shahr Ramadan – If you’ve been looking for an app that will help estimate the time of sunset and sunrise during the month of Ramadan, check out this app. It uses GPS settings to determine your location and then reports when you’ll be able to break your fast.
Star Legends Beta (3D MMO)
You may be familiar with Spacetime Studios as the company behind the very popular Pocket Legends MMORPG. Spacetime is back once again with a Sci-Fi-themed adventure. Star Legends features a a world in which the player joins others online and travel through space to fight aliens. Players assume the role of a Command, who is the warrior of the group; an Operative that uses lasers to fight back; and an Engineer, which is the role that manages tech and repairs. Each class of fighter has its strengths and weaknesses, and users will benefit from co-opting online with other characters. The game is compatible with iOS and has been in an Android beta for a few weeks, so there are already plenty of people playing online.
We recently took a look at the best apps to use while you wait for Instagram to arrive on Android. That seems less likely to happen with each passing day, so let’s focus on some good alternatives already on the market. Streamzoo missed being included in our round-up, but it’s got the makings of being a contender in the future. The app offers a limited set of filters, border, and tilt-shift options, but it can customize photos with a decent set of effects.
However, the real draw to Streamzoo is that it handles the social aspect of sharing better than most apps. Photos can be shared with public streams (think of them as photo pools) with certain tags. Someone can add a description with the #Honolulu hashtag and a stream will be viewable of other photos with that tag. Users can create profiles, follow streams, connect with friends, export to Facebook/Twitter, and earn points for photos shared to reach the leaderboard.
This morning I woke up and had a breakfast that would make the guys from Epic Meal Time proud: bacon, eggs, bacon, pork, bacon, waffles, bacon, and Orange Juice…mixed with bacon and Jack Daniels. That’s way too many calories, so Calorific Diet Tracker is an app that logs the food someone eats each meal. Calorific lets users snap a photo of a dish, enter notes on what they eat, add food type (great, ok, bad) or food group (Fruit, veggie, grains, etc.), and then list portion size.
The app is a personal diary that monitors calorie intake and helps keep users honest about the type of food they should be eating vs. the type of foods they actually eat. It also monitors amount of water the user drinks throughout the day, so download this app and get back into the habit of eating less epic and more healthy.
What’s on TV right now? Fire up Peel and you’ll see a personalized, visually-based guide that is more fun to navigate than text-based listings. Peel shows tabs of programs on TV now or set to air later, and can then provide the important details for that program: air time, duration, channel, and a quick synopsis. Users can star a program to mark it as a favorite or cut it to remove such shows from appearing again.
This is important because it makes Peel’s recommendations more intuitive to your tastes. For instance, I love the Jaime Foxx Show and True Life but hate Meet The Browns and Sex & The City. By sending those signals, Peel doesn’t display that show during the time-slot (it may appear at other times) and promotes the ones that I do like. Users can also browse TV shows, movies, sports, genres, and search to find a specific show.
IntoNow is part of the crop of social television shows that have popped up this year. It allows users to find their Facebook/Twitter friends and check-in to see what others are watching. But rather than simply tap on a show listing, IntoNow is like a Shazam for TV that can identify what’s on the tubes.
The app listens to audio from the TV and figures out what program is being viewed. It then provides cast and genre information, lists other people currently watch (who you may want to friend for having similar tastes), and links to IMDb. It also lists the Popular shows among all IntoNow members.
Android App Reviews of the Week
- DSLR Controller makes Android a live controller for Canon DSLR cameras
- LoopNet delivers another property search app to Android
- New Skype update brings video calling to a slew of handsets
- Nissan LEAF manages controls directly from your Android phone
- GroupMe update shows G+ Huddles aren’t the only game in town
- Google+ Android app update fixes notification problems, refines sharing
- Squarespace for Android: A Beta Preview
- Go Launcher becomes an even better home launcher with Facebook & Twitter widgets [App Review]
- Capital One Mobile Banking app hits the Android Market